During this year’s National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s rubber-stamp parliament, which opens its regular session on Sunday, Xi Jinping is organizing a significant reform of the country’s institutions of government and the party.
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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced “far-reaching significance” reforms on Tuesday, which are anticipated to involve reorganizing the organizations in charge of overseeing state security, the banking and technological sectors, and other industries. All of the adjustments will be made with the intention of enhancing party control.
After Mao Zedong, Xi has been China’s most powerful leader. After eliminating the two-term limit in 2018, he was re-elected as party secretary and chairman of the military commission at the CCP congress in October, clearing the door for him to govern for the rest of time. That will be reaffirmed when Xi is given a third term in office at this year’s NPC.
The two-term restriction still holds true for positions that Xi does not hold. Li Qiang, who was promoted to the second position on the CCP Standing Committee in October, is anticipated to succeed Li Keqiang as premier. The brutal lockdown that was placed on the city for two months in 2022 was overseen by Li Qiang, a close buddy of Xi and his previous position as chief of staff. He served as the party chairman for Shanghai.
The sudden and hurried promotion of a cadre who had never held a senior government position demonstrates how much Xi valued loyalty over tradition and background.
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Another buddy of Xi’s, He Lifeng, is anticipated to be named vice-premier in charge of economic policy and is also being considered for the position of party chief of the People’s Bank of China. The creation of a new party committee to manage the central bank and other financial firms is among the anticipated reforms. With He in charge of the government and banking system, such a reform would streamline decision-making under Xi.
The party and the government have been forced to work together under Xi. According to Richard McGregor, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute research institute and the writer of a work about the CCP, the government has given up its distinctiveness and effectiveness.
The Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of State Security may be transferred from the State Council’s purview to a newly established, party-controlled internal affairs committee, according to another rumored shift. According to Patricia Thornton, an Oxford University professor of Chinese politics, “by having to move so many of these key functions away from of the supervision of the nation, it would undoubtedly destabilize the state while immensely bolstering the power of the group’s State Council and, of course, Xi Jinping himself.
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Zhao Wanping, an agricultural scientist and NPC representative, has also urged that authorities give citizens a bit more latitude when it comes to using fireworks. Fireworks and firecrackers, which were once widely used during Chinese festivities but are now frequently prohibited due to noise and safety concerns, were Zhao’s suggestions as a potential compromise.